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4 Communication Sins That Hurt Your Career [Part 2]

Last week, I shared Communication Sin #1 with you. This week, I bring you #2! Jamie (not her real name) joined me in CareerHMO.com two months ago after she had been on six interviews and not gotten a single job offer. She was convinced she was saying something wrong in the interview that was costing her the job. So, I had her complete our Interview Prep Questionnaire and submit her answers for review. The questionnaire is a comprehensive list of behavioral questions you could get asked on an interview. This type of questioning is very popular these days as a way to determine a candidate’s thought process and any potential underlying issues. Within five minutes of reading Jamie’s answers to these questions I knew she was right - she was blowing the interview! Here’s how.... Jamie is an Empathizer. (You can determine what Interaction Style you are here.) So, she tends to answer interview questions from the viewpoint of teamwork, with supportive co-workers as her main driver. Empathizers pride themselves on their ability to make people feel good about themselves and to help others as much as they can. However, Jamie had had a bad experience at her last employer. In her mind, her boss and a co-worker had double-crossed her and she was having trouble letting go and moving on from the experience. The result was a set of answers to interview questions that screamed to employers, “I’ve been burned and you better not do the same to me!” As I walked Jamie through each of her response and shared how they could be misinterpreted, she was shocked to see that while she thought she was doing a good job of hiding the past, she was actually waving a big red flag in the interview. Communication Sin #2 - Not Keeping Your Interaction Style Weakness in Check All of us have strengths and weaknesses with respect to our Interaction Style. The strength of an Empathizer is their incredible compassion for others. However, when they don’t get the same treatment, that strength can turn to a weakness in the form of them crying foul non-stop. They take it personally - and that’s the last thing you want to display in an interview or any other kind of important career meeting. Work is business. So, if you aren’t with fellow Empathizers, you better be prepared to present yourself in a way that doesn’t get those with a different style than yours thinking less of you. In Jamie’s case, we worked through the painful experience she had at her former employer through a coaching exercise. After that, she was able to re-write her interview answers in a more objective, less emotional tone. The result was a very successful interview and job offer just 3 weeks later. Here’s what Jamie had to say, “When I saw that I was penalizing my future employer for my former employer’s actions, I realized how I might have appeared in those earlier interviews. This time, I focused on the fact that I had learned a lot from my last job and that I was excited to be finding a different employer who wouldn’t be like the last one. I felt so much happier in the interview and I was much more relaxed. I knew I had the job when the hiring manager said she loved my attitude.” Join Me For a Communication Bootcamp Designed to Help You Make the Most of Your Interaction Style! In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about the last two Communication Sins and how they impact you professionally. More importantly, I will be teaching a very special class on Tuesday, November 29 at 2:00 PM ET that will teach participants how to leverage their Interaction Style when communicating so they can earn more respect in the workplace. Who Should Attend This Training? As an HR professional who specializes in workplace training, I developed this course specifically for talented professionals who are looking to get ahead. In fact, I’ve delivered this training to hundreds of employees at corporations all over the country as a way to improve their communication skills at work. So, if you are looking for a way to earn more respect on-the-job (and respect pays twice as much), then this program is for you. I’d even suggest you ask your company to pay for it! Can’t Attend the Live Event? That’s okay. If you register, you will be given access to the recording. NOTE: This recording will not be made public. So, unless you register to attend, you will not be able to see this in the future. Don’t Be a Communication Sinner - Learn to Interact Like a Pro! When it comes to communication, you can’t afford not to improve your skills in today’s competitive workplace. Learn how to leverage your Interaction Style so you can get the respect you want and deserve! Sign-up for This Webinar Now » J.T. O’Donnell is the founder of CAREEREALISM.com and CEO of CareerHMO.com, a web-based career development company. Image from wavebreakmedia ltd/Shutterstock